The opinions expressed here are mine and do not represent La Plata Electric Association policy.
I would like to respond to Barry Lausman’s letter to the editor (Herald, Oct. 28). I agree that Dan Harms put a lot of work into his presentations on renewable energy. However, I would really like to see Dan expand his analysis to include projections into the future.
For example, in the presentation that I made to the LPEA board using data from Tri-State and Bloomberg, I showed that there is a high probability that by 2026 LPEA members will be able to install solar on their property and generate electricity at half the price that LPEA will have to charge. And by 2040, LPEA rates could be four to five times the cost of solar.
I don’t know anyone who thinks that we can switch to all renewables in the very near future. This will likely take decades, and we need to be doing long-term strategic planning at LPEA. Falling prices for solar, wind and storage will make the situation much different in the not-too-distant future.
With respect to the Kit Carson buyout, it is true that Kit Carson raised rates to pay the $37 million that they had to pay Tri-State. But even with the increase, their residential rates are still lower than LPEA rates for most members. And after six years of paying off the buyout, Kit Carson’s members will see substantially reduced energy costs for many years.
Let’s all pull together as we move to renewables.
Editor’s note: Guinn Unger is a member of the LPEA Board of Directors.